# How Augmented and Virtual Reality Can Change the Retail World
One of the first retailers to use virtual reality for marketing and research was Happy Family, a manufacturer of organic children's food. Company leaders knew they wanted to redesign aisles, but they wanted customer input before doing so.
To gather large amounts of data, they turned to virtual reality. This let them get data from an impressive 800 shoppers, something that wouldn't have been possible without the technology. In the future, the ways to use this technology will grow even more.
## Using Virtual Reality to Plan the Store
Virtual reality also gives businesses the chance to see how customers feel about their retail displays, signage, or overall merchandising set-up without having to create the items in the physical world. By creating a virtual reality of the entire store, companies can be confident in what it will look like before creating a brick-and-mortar location that will give information to the competition.
Building a virtual store is also much quicker than physically manufacturing displays to be tested, reducing the amount of time it takes to plan a store.
## Getting to Know Augmented Reality
Virtual reality is already a common theme in technology and has been for a while, but augmented reality is still growing. This is a way of adding a bit of virtual reality to your current reality, creating an enhanced experience. This method lets customers see products before they make a purchase.
## Bring It to the Customer
At the moment, virtual reality is mostly being used for retailers. Manufacturers create virtual versions of their products to let retailers see if they want to sell them. Retailers use them to plan their store in minute detail and make sure clients like the layout. In the future, more businesses will offer a similar experience for clients.
Lowe's and Marxent Labs are taking one of the first steps toward this. They created a system that lets customers design their baths and kitchens virtually. By seeing what their space will look like, they can make better-informed choices and be confident in their purchases and plans.
There is still work to be done, however. According to Marxent, testing for virtual reality in catalogs left much to be desired.
Retailers and technology companies are both working to figure out how virtual and augmented reality will be contributing to shopping in the future.